The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 18, 2013

Police beef up murder probe

State helping; street patrols expanded

By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item

SUNBURY — SUNBURY — Sunbury police are forming a homicide task force because investigators are at a standstill trying to figure out why Troy LaFerrara was killed or who did it. LaFerrara’s body was discovered in a city alley a week ago.

LaFerrara died from multiple stab wounds, Northumberland County Coroner Jim Kelley said of the 42-year-old Port Trevorton resident whose body was found Nov.12 about two blocks from the city home he owned.

Kelley would not enumerate the number of times LaFerrara was stabbed, but ruled his death as a homicide.

Sunbury Police Chief Steve Mazzeo said Monday this was the worst homicide he has seen in the six years he has been in the Valley and every stone police turn over seems to dig deeper into the mysterious murder.

“We are continuing to actively investigate the homicide and the situation has evolved into a more complicated investigation,” Mazzeo said.

“We are also cooperating with multiple local law enforcement agencies and businesses to forward the investigation.”

Mazzeo said the Northumberland County District Attorney’s Office and the Pennsylvania state police will join city police to form the homicide task force.

“We have also increased patrols in the city,” Mazzeo said Monday.

“We have more officers out and that includes myself. I am also out on the street patrolling.”

A member of the Union-Chapman Township Regional Sewer Authority in Snyder County, LaFerrara was found by neighbors at the rear of 240 Catawissa Ave., near an alley between Catawissa and Fairmount avenues.

The homicide, Kelley said after Wednesday’s autopsy, was “due to multiple sharp-force trauma.”

Police have six officers — half the staff— working around the clock to find answers, but for the past seven days police have not gotten any.

Police are not even sure LaFerrara was murdered in Sunbury or Northumberland County for that matter.

Mazzeo would not confirm whether the homicide was an isolated incident, but said he did not believe the public was in danger.

Witnesses or those with tips are asked to call (570) 286-4584, extension 125 or 106 or Northumberland County Emergency Services at (570) 988-4539.